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computer-1179912_640Have you ever wondered what causes people to struggle with addiction when others seem less affected? We can’t always know who will be more affected by those addictive substances (drugs, alcohol, porn, etc.), but what we do know is that recovery is possible. Though for many who struggle with addiction, the path of recovery is a lifelong choice each day to abstain from the substance.

Because of that, when it comes to overcoming your porn addiction, having the tools and resources around you is important to your success. If you’re ready to break your porn addiction, the first step in the process is to come out of hiding. Once you admit and acknowledge you have a problem, you can get started in your recovery.

To help get you started on your path to recovery, here are 6 helpful tips to begin your healing:

Step 1: Network of Support

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Find a support group, therapist, or trusted individual who you can talk openly with about your struggles and who you can hold yourself accountable to. The road to recovery is not easy and you’ll want to build a network of support around you to remind you that you’re not alone.

If you’re hesitant to talk to someone about your addiction, remember addiction thrives in shame. By finding a group you can open up to, and where you can listen to others share their stories, the shame of the addiction decreases because you’ll be around people who understand and relate to your struggles. Support groups have people at various stages on the path of recovery, and those further along can offer insights and tips to help you. The benefits of groups are not only about the positive feedback and energy to succeed, but providing support to others as well.

Plus, those who have a support group around them are more likely to overcome their addiction.

As you seek out a therapist or support group, here are some things you should ask:

  • Do you feel safe to openly express your thoughts, concerns, and feelings?
  • What kind of experience do they have working with pornography and sexual addiction?
  • Who leads the group? What are their credentials?
  • How is the session or support group run?

Step 2: Plan Of Action

Next, take a moment to create a Plan Of Action. This is a great tool for helping you to stay committed to your recovery. The idea of “stopping cold turkey” can dissuade and discourage people. Instead, use your Plan Of Action to implement and build new habits in your day-to-day routine to create healthy habits and replace the more destructive habits.

Some things to include in your Plan Of Action, practice positive self-talk and set daily goals to help you achieve your goals. These goals don’t have to be huge. Make it a goal to attend a support meeting once or twice a week, write in a journal everyday, do community service or something nice for a neighbor, or find a hobby or something you enjoy doing.

Can’t think of hobby? Check out some adult education classes near you, volunteer, or check out Meetup.com. The key is to find something you can do instead of viewing pornography. In time, this will get easier and you’ll come up with more things you can do.

Step 3: Practice Positive Self-Talk

Take a moment each day to practice positive self-talk. During your path towards recovery, negative self-talk will sabotage and defeat your efforts in healing. Each morning when you wake up, before you go to bed, and throughout the day, practice daily affirmations. These can be spoken silently or out loud, but the key is to use them to boost your self-worth and remind yourself that you deserve a life free of addiction.

If you’re having a hard time with positive self-talk, some books to consider include:

  • Touchstones: A Book of Daily Meditations (for men)
  • The Language of Letting Go (for women)
  • Answers in the Heart: Daily Meditations (for both women and men)
  • You Can Heal Your Life (for both women and men)

Step 4: Write Yourself a Letter

to-write-224591_640Write yourself a letter to remind you why you’re doing this and to offer encouragement during those moments you feel vulnerable or frustrated. Make this letter personal, you’re the only person who’s going to read it (unless you want to show it to someone you trust), so don’t be afraid to include anything that will keep you motivated on your path to recovery.

Along with your letter, include some photos of your family or loved ones. You might also include a photo of yourself when you were your happiest to remind yourself that you can be there again. Other pictures you may want to include are some that remind you of your Higher Power or spirituality, such as a picture of Christ or Buddha, the Star of David, or a photo of nature. Whatever speaks positively to you in your progress to quit porn.

Step 5: Identify Your Triggers

Triggers are any stimuli that ignites your sexual thoughts and behavior. These triggers can be stimulated by visuals (pornographic pictures, websites, and magazines), the five senses, or even some more subtle like an event, special occasions, holidays, or emotions. While you’re identifying your triggers, one thing to keep in mind is that triggers don’t necessarily have to be a negative event in your life. Pay attention to those positive moments in your life, when you may feel what is referred to as “entitlement,” as it can lead to hindering your success.

Identifying your triggers and what to do with them is a very complex process. In the beginning you may not know what they are, so try to be aware of them and write them down. As you become more aware of your triggers, you’ll gain a deeper understanding of them, which can lead to early detection. Once you recognize your triggers, you’ll have a better chance of getting a hold of them before they take you back down the path of old behaviors.

Step 6: Forgive Yourself If You Slip Up

As you move forward in healing from pornography and sexual addiction, remember you’re human. We make mistakes and have moments we slide back into old, unhealthy patterns. Don’t let that discourage you from continuing forward. If you do slip up, talk to someone immediately. Tell your support group, your therapist, a trusted friend or family member, then recommit to your recovery.

Things happen and breaking old habits is not easy. Be kind and understanding with yourself. You can do this. Pull out your letter you wrote to yourself, about why you’re doing this, and identify what your triggers are.

You are not alone in your addiction. So many people struggle with the devastating effects of pornography and sexual addiction, but you don’t have to. Remember to be patient and kind with yourself as you work towards your recovery goals.

Want some more tips for how to quit porn? Download our free ebook, The First Step: Taking the First Step Toward Recovery.

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